Category Archives: WOMEN’S EQUALITY

Women of the World Call for Peace

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from Scheerpost

Presented on May 10th, 2022, by Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy, a coalition of the women leaders and activists from around the world call for peace in Ukraine and and an end to the threat of nuclear war. 


Video of their videoconference

Born out of an American-Russian Women’s Dialogue and Peacebuilding Initiative founded just over a year ago, the group started with the goal of improving US-Russia relations, reducing tensions, averting a nuclear war, and working together for the disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons.

Over the last year, they wrote multiple open letters published in both countries calling for peace. Their most recent open letter, published a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine link stood with Ukraine calling for peace. They have issued an appeal for peace in Ukraine calling for an immediate ceasefire “to stop the killing, bloodshed, and immense human suffering.”

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Question related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the Ukraine war?

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES:

Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a Nobel Peace Laureate and Co-founder of Peace People, Northern Ireland. Mairead was the aunt of three Maguire children who died as a result of being hit by an Irish Republican Army getaway car after its driver was shot by a British soldier. She responded to the violence facing her family and community by organizing massive peace demonstrations appealing for an end to the bloodshed and a nonviolent solution to the conflict. Mairead was awarded the l976 Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous efforts in co-founding a movement to help bring about peace and end the violence arising out of the ethnic political conflict in Northern Ireland. Since receiving the award, she has dedicated her life to promoting peace and disarmament, both in Northern Ireland and around the world.  

Dr. Paula Garb is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Peacemaking Practice at George Mason University. For the past twenty-eight years, Dr. Garb has facilitated citizen dialogues and taught peaceful problem-solving skills in conflict zones of the South Caucasus and to gang intervention workers in Southern California. She also taught mediation and conflict resolution at the University of California, Irvine for twenty-five years.  Dr. Garb serves on the board of UCI’s Center for Citizen Peacebuilding which she co-founded and co-directed for twenty years. She has also published numerous books and journal articles on peacebuilding. 

Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez is a diplomat and academic who previously served as the Ambassador from Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva. In 2017, Ambassador Whyte presided over the UN Conference that negotiated and adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Facing extraordinary time pressure, and, at times, contentious debate, Ambassador Whyte facilitated the adoption of this landmark agreement by a vote of 122 nations in favor, one against, and one abstention. Among her many accomplishments, she is also the first woman and the youngest person ever to serve as vice minister of Foreign Affairs in Costa Rica. 

Cynthia Lazaroff is the Senior Creative Producer for US-Russia Relations: The Quest for Stability, a seven-part multimedia documentary produced with philanthropic support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Over the past forty years, Cynthia has been engaged in Track II and 1.5 diplomacy with Russia and the former Soviet Union. Cynthia is the Founder & Director of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy  & NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth.

Gabon Candidate for International Peace Ambassador

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article for CPNN by Jerry Bibang (translation by CPNN)

Gabon has officially presented its candidate for the International Peace Ambassador competition, organized by the International Organization of Young Peace Promoters (OIJPP).

The headquarters of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (Unoca) served as the setting for this ceremony, enhanced by the presence of representatives of several United Nations organizations, including UNESCO, UNFPA, UNOCA and the Coordination of the United Nations System in Gabon.
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(Click here for the original French version)

Questions for this article

Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?

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The International Peace Ambassador Competition is an initiative that promotes excellence in female leadership to sustain peace between peoples and around the world. Its objective is to promote the involvement of women in peace processes and national and international cohesion for the effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (women, peace and security) and 2250 (youth, peace and security) of the United Nations Security Council.

The event will bring together, next month in Niger, 24 candidates who will represent their respective countries in order to win the final crown. Each of the candidates should present and defend, in front of an international jury, a project that will positively impact women on issues of peace and security in their community.

After the preliminary phases, punctuated by training and pre-assessments of the candidates, it is Mrs. Tamara Moutotekema Boussamba, a young entrepreneur, who will represent Gabon during this pan-African meeting, dedicated to the culture of peace.

“We are seeking the support of the various actors (government, development partners, private sector) in order to help us better support the Gabonese delegation which will have to take part in this meeting. On the sidelines of the competition, there is also an international summit during which Gabonese youth should make their contribution,” explained Jerry Bibang, Permanent Secretary of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP).

UN Women Executive Director re-ignites ambition for Generation Equality by sharing her bold vision for the future at CSW66

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from Forum Generation Equality

On 16 March, at a high-level dialogue against the backdrop of the 66th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous gathered with Action Coalition Leaders and global Generation Equality actors to reflect on the concrete progress made since the Generation Equality Forum in Paris and to share her bold vision to ensure future success.


UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous

“It is time to look towards the future and the journey ahead of us to translate the promises of Generation Equality into implementation and impact in the lives of women and girls in all their diversity around the world. We must not lose focus and the sense of urgency and partnerships that characterized the Generation Equality Forum,” said Ms. Bahous.

“You can count on my full engagement and UN Women’s leadership and support as we march forward together,” she added, re-iterating her firm commitment to prioritize action on the key next steps of the Generation Equality journey. Ms. Bahous outlined three priorities for the way forward: accountability for existing commitments and support for implementation; generating new commitments; and continuing to promote the multistakeholder and intergenerational nature of the Generation Equality, as an example of inclusive multilateralism.

The flagship event marked the culmination of a 24-hour-long Generation Equality mobilization at CSW66, filled with over thirty events led by partners around the world. The diverse events convened under the 24-hour umbrella – including dynamic sessions on the Action Coalitions, Global Alliance for Care, and the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action as well as events on strengthening partner engagement in Generation Equality co-convened by the adolescent girl groups together with Member States and others – demonstrated that the momentum of the Generation Equality agenda continues to build globally and become increasingly rooted locally.

Building ambition for Generation Equality

For the flagship event culminating the 24-hour arc, actors who have been heavily involved throughout the Generation Equality process joined Executive Director Sima Bahous in reflecting on the vision for the future, sharing their ambition for the coming years.

Acknowledging Ms. Bahous’s commitment to supporting the continuous and meaningful engagement of young people and adolescent girls, Anika Jane Dorothy, member of the former Generation Equality Youth Task Force, emphasized that the youth will continue “to mobilize, to organize and to challenge the status quo” throughout the Generation Equality journey ahead.

Monica Aleman, Senior Programme Officer at the Ford Foundation pointed to the timeliness of Generation Equality, explaining that in the current global landscape, global engagement and cooperation on gender equality action through UN structures is critical. “We cannot do this work on our own. We have to find ways to coordinate and work with others,” Aleman emphasized.

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Questions for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

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“We have a long voyage ahead of us to ensure a strong and permanent change,” added Élisabeth Moreno, Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities for the Government of France. “We must continue working in a collaborative manner; only then will we achieve real progress. I strongly believe that together, we all can.”

Innovation and action

Shifting focus from the future vision to concrete progress on the ground, Action Coalition Leaders gave positive updates on the implementation of commitments made at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris.

Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro, Secretary-General of CARE International, outlined CARE’s strategy to support at least an additional 10 million women and girls to gain control over their finances and access opportunities through either creating or strengthening existing savings and loans associations. The initiative is currently being implemented across 10 African countries as a core component of CARE’s commitment as a Leader of the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights.

Over 95 partners have stepped up as Leaders of the Action Coalitions and are in the process of implementing bold commitments for women and girls. Together with the Commitment Makers they have made over 2,000 commitments to drive concrete results by 2026, with 1,000 of these commitments having been made since the Forum in Paris.

Launching tools to drive accountability and progress

Ensuring transparency and mutual accountability for commitments is essential for achieving and measuring progress. The online Action Coalitions Commitments Dashboard that was unveiled at the event will play a key role in establishing this.

The Dashboard makes all commitments accessible, searchable, and visible to all. It therefore represents a key building block of the Accountability Framework that will monitor and measure progress for the next 5-years.

“If we are to truly achieve transformative change it means not only giving a seat at the table, but placing the right tools and resources in the hands of women, girls and gender-diverse people,” said Jeevika Shiv, National Youth Gender Activist for UN Women in India and MAKAAM Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch, as she outlined the progress made on the Accountability Framework to date.

The Framework is being developed collaboratively with a group of Action Coalition leaders and will be formally launched at the upcoming UN General Assembly in September.

“Onwards, together!”

The energizing dialogue highlighted the opportunities that the Generation Equality 5-year journey holds as an accelerator for fulfilling the promises of SDG-5 and the overall 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through strengthened partnerships and multilateral cooperation.

In her closing remarks, Executive Director Sima Bahous reflected on the shared sense of urgency to drive progress that clearly emerged throughout the discussion and underscored the imperative of fully leveraging the Generation Equality platform as a vehicle to do so.

Rounding off the event with a message of solidarity, Moderator Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Member of the GWL Voices for Change and Inclusion, said, “for those of you that have been part of this journey, and for all of those joining us now – onwards, together!”

UN Women : Five young women on the forefront of climate action across Europe and Central Asia

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from UN Women

Women and girls are powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation and must be included in the design and implementation of climate action. Without their leadership, knowledge and participation in climate responses today, it is unlikely that solutions for a sustainable planet and gender-equal world tomorrow will be realized.

Across the Europe and Central Asia, women and girls are advancing feminist climate justice and leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response. They are mobilizing local, national, regional and global climate movements and harnessing the transformative power of feminist leadership to face the unprecedented challenges of our times.

Ainura Sagyn, 33, is an ecofeminist, computer software engineer, and CEO of Tazar  [Become Greener], a startup mobile application that connects waste producers with recyclers and educates consumers about waste management in Kyrgyzstan. She actively promotes women’s rights, gender equality and environmental issues through her technological activism.

Some 65 per cent of Tazar app users are unemployed women with children who sell sorted recycled waste to earn points they can exchange for prizes such as deposit money from a bank or cosmetics, all from partners who are mostly women entrepreneurs. They have collected more than 10 tonnes of waste since the end of 2020. Sagyn and her partner Aimeerim Tursalieva also launched a Tazar Bazaar platform that sells eco-friendly products made by women entrepreneurs, which helps support local businesses, women entrepreneurs and promotes eco-consumption.

“Women, in particular, are disproportionately affected by climate change due to their lack of access to natural resources management, limited mobility in rural areas and by being excluded from decision-making processes,” says Sagyn, who aspires to extend her startup to promote environmentalism in other Central Asian countries.

Gabriela Isac, 29, is an environmental activist, co-founder of the Seed It Forward  volunteer agroforestry initiative and a project coordinator at the EcoVisio  grass-roots ecological non-profit in Moldova.

With the Seed It Forward team, she organizes tree-planting events, consults civil society organizations, local public authorities, schools and the general public on environmental issues, and educates them through informational materials on trees, composting and permaculture. They have planted over 50,000 trees and bushes, while their recent environmental campaign reached more than 1.5 million people online.

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Question related to this article:
 
What is the relation between the environment and peace

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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“Moldova is quite vulnerable to climate change. Though the effects are not as disastrous yet as in other parts of the world, climate change increases an already existing burden on women. Women often work in rural areas and take the least-paid day jobs in agriculture. Women’s welfare is directly affected by the harvest, which in the low-tech agricultural system of Moldova highly depends on climate,” says Isac.

Ania Sauku, 19, is an active voice for gender equality, climate action and youth empowerment in Albania. She is one of the incumbent Albanian Youth Delegates to the United Nations, where she advocates for climate issues and sustainable development and shares the perspective of youth in her country.
She raises awareness on climate change and feminism and how they are inextricable from one another. Sauku believes that for many people in Albania, climate change is still not an issue, and that gender equality and climate are not related. Together with her team, she organizes movie nights on environment, protests and marches for climate justice, and other educational initiatives to raise awareness about climate change and intersectional feminism.
“Climate crisis does not affect us all in the same way and often women are the most vulnerable to this crisis, especially women from marginalized communities such as women of ethnic minorities, women of colour, women with disabilities, queer women, women living in poverty, and other women and girls at the intersection of multiple systems of oppression,” says Sauku.

Pakizat Sailaubekova, 29, is an environmentalist, project manager at Greenup.kz public fund and a co-founder of the Recycle BIRGE  [Recycle Together] ecological movement in Kazakhstan. She won the “>Tereshkevich Youth Environmental Award  for her eco-activism and a 3.2.1. Start!  eco-project grant.

She organizes public and corporate clean ups, climate-related events, conducts eco-consulting and gives various educational lectures on household waste and living an eco-friendly life. Together with colleagues, Sailaubekova has organized 43 clean ups with the participation of over 1,700 people. They have also collected and transferred more than 4,000 kg of recyclable materials for processing and implemented 14 large-scale environmental projects.

“The role of women in preserving nature is enormous,” she says, adding that 95 per cent of the eco-volunteers and the participants in their environmental campaigns are women and girls. “Women are at the forefront of solving many environmental problems, each at their own level. Our organization is also founded solely by women.”

Sanne Van de Voort, 27, is Advocacy Officer for Women Engage for a Common Future  (an international ecofeminist network), and an NGO representative on the Dutch Delegation to this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

She believes that feminist climate justice recognizes the intersectionality of climate and environmental issues and how each individual is affected differently by climate change and can lend their unique experiences to finding solutions. As an Advocacy Officer, she works to ensure that Dutch and international decisions taken on climate and environmental issues reflect the needs, perspectives and solutions of women and feminists across the world, especially from the Global South. In her new role as a Dutch NGO representative to CSW, she contributes to preparations and priority-setting in the Dutch Government’s CSW delegation alongside other Dutch civil society organizations.

“We need changes that start putting people and planet over profit,” says Van de Voort. “A system that puts equality, sustainability and justice at the centre, instead of the exploitation of natural resources at the expense of biodiversity and a healthy environment.”

Chile – Interview with Alondra Carrillo: “The feminist transformation of the State is unavoidable, it is a fact”

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article by Nicole Martinez in El Mostrador (translation by CPNN)

The spokesperson for the 8M Feminist Coordinator has underlined the advances in terms of parity and gender perspective within the Constitutional Convention. Among some milestones, she highlights that “the Justice Systems Commission took a historic step forward by establishing that all jurisdictional bodies and all persons involved must be guarantors of substantive equality, and that all resolutions must have a gender perspective”. The constituent, who is part of the Constituent Social Movements, emphasized that the changes that have been achieved are here to stay, and that “we are never going to return to second place again. That is a commitment that we have made with ourselves, and also with future generations, with the girls of this country”.


Alondra Carrillo

Two women will go down in history as presidents of the Constitutional Convention (CC), and each commission has at least one woman among its two coordinators. They are part of the milestones that have marked the constituent process, where women’s leadership has been more substantive and visible than in other spaces of political deliberation. And it was not by chance, because behind these advances there was the work of the feminist world, which since the beginning of the process has advocated minimums such as gender parity in the election of conventional women and men.

The gender perspective has been in every discussion, in every commission and in every proposal, and has made concrete progress, such as in the first regulations approved by the Justice Systems Commission, which are already part of the draft of the new Constitution, regarding to the guarantee of equality and gender perspective in resolutions. In a few days, the first proposals related to sexual and reproductive rights will also begin to be voted on in plenary.

One of the representative voices of the feminist movement within the Convention is the constituent of the 12th district, Alondra Carrillo, who is a spokesperson for the Feminist Coordinator March 8 and also for the Constituent Social Movements. In an interview with El Mostrador, she addressed the main advances that feminist proposals have had in the constituent process, the gender perspective in political spaces and the vision before the feminist government, as defined by the President-elect, Gabriel Boric.

-The Constitutional Convention (CC) has been one of the political spaces that has innovated on gender issues. What is your diagnosis in these months of work in the CC in terms of gender issues and perspective?


-Feminists came to the Convention from many different places, and we also came with a perspective of transformation that reaches practically all areas of constitutional discussion.  Gender advancement is one of the forms of the feminist program, but it is not the only thing, to the extent that we also propose structural and comprehensive transformations in the way power is configured in our country.

In terms of gender transformations, there have been multiple steps forward, the first of which was taken during the process of drafting the regulations, where two guidelines were established. On the one hand, parity as a minimum for the presence of women and sexual and gender in State bodies. Parity that is not defined as 50/50, but in the expression is “at least half”.  Our presence must be at least half, so that there is no repetition of what happened in the election process that led to the Constitutional Convention and that resulted in the exclusion of many women in the name of 50/50 parity. Another guideline is to consider that patriarchal and gender violence is a form of political violence for which the entire constituent body has to assume responsibility. 

Now, we have advanced perspectives of parity democracy in each one of the organs of the State. It is part of the voting in particular of the Political System Commission. The Justice Systems Commission took a historic step forward by establishing that all jurisdictional bodies and all persons involved must be guarantors of substantive equality, and all resolutions musrt have a gender perspective.

Another of the transformations that are being debated these days, and that will arrive on Thursday at the plenary session of the Constitutional Convention, is the consecration of our sexual and reproductive rights, the right to decide on our bodies and on the exercise of our sexuality, including the right to a protected pregnancy and childbirth, and also the right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy, the right to comprehensive sexual education, the right to identity. And in these days the contributions of the Commission on Principles will also be debated, which establish substantive equality as a mandate to the State to remove all the obstacles that in fact prevent substantive equality among the people who inhabit our country.

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(Click here for a Spanish version.)

Questions for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

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-Looking in perspective, from prior to the installation of the Convention and until now, have the priorities changed for the feminist movement?


-The feminist program against the precariousness of life with which we arrived at the Constitutional Convention continues to be the guiding compass of our activity within the Convention and also outside of it. These are points that will be discussed shortly, too, when social rights are debated in a feminist perspective. Among them, the right to work from a feminist perspective, which begins by recognizing all work that sustains life, including unpaid work, and a new comprehensive social security system, which includes a single care system sustained on the perspective of universality and solidarity.  Social rights such as housing, are demanded by the work of constituents and popular organizations in the construction of the Popular Initiative of Standards for decent housing with a feminist perspective. Housing is considered as a space where, on the one hand, we can exercise our right to pleasure and enjoyment, and, on the other hand, where the design of housing is designed to collectivize reproductive work, which consists of maintaining life on a daily basis. Today it is reduced to the private sphere, and in the private sphere it is highly precarious. That is to say, the mandate with which we came, which is a programmatic debate, has been expressed in the debate of the commissions to raise Popular Initiatives of Standard, and has informed the discussion in each one of the commissions of the CC.

-When you have raised these issues, when the gender approach has been included, there are sectors in the CC that have put up some obstacles and expressed reluctance, especially from a sector on the right. In general, how has the reception of these issues been within the Convention and how has dialogue been going on with the most critical sectors?


-Generally, the positions taken by the right within the Convention are widely publicized in the press. However, what is not so strongly highlighted on many occasions is the overwhelming transversality with which these perspectives have been advancing in the Convention.  So much so that, in its first vote, the article that establishes the gender perspective and substantive equality as mandates for the new justice system had more than 2/3 approval. After that debate, in addition, we have had complementary bibliography that we have made available to the sectors that raised objections at the beginning. We hope that as this discussion progresses, they will understand and open up to an inescapable question: the feminist transformation of the State is inescapable, it is a fact.

What we have seen is that there is a sector within the right, which is not even able to express itself, that resists accepting the transformations that are underway, and there is another sector that we hope can rise to the democratic debate and the openness that is taking place in the Convention to incorporate these transformations with an extraordinarily high majority.

-Based on the above, do you think that the milestones that have occurred within the CC, such as the two women’s presidencies and various female leaderships, in addition to these advances that you mentioned in terms of gender, are going to permeate other political spaces? ?


-Transformations in this sense are here to stay. We have always said: we are here to stay and we will never return to second place. That is a commitment that we have made with ourselves, and also with future generations, with the girls of this country. We believe that what is going to make it possible for this to continue to be sustained, for the process of transformation to continue to deepen, is the same condition that makes transformation possible in other aspects of this social, economic, political and cultural order, which is social, popular mobilization. As long as the feminist movement continues to be a strong movement, as long as we continue to understand that the path we have opened is a long-term path, and we do not allow patriarchal inertia to return,

-The incoming government of President-elect Gabriel Boric, who formally takes office on Friday, has defined itself as a feminist government. What are the expectations of that and how important is it that for the first time a government defines itself as such?


-I am part of a sector of the feminist movement that campaigned for Gabriel Boric from autonomy, because we put two issues at the center: on the one hand, the need to block the path of the extreme right that declares war on women, poor people and sexual and gender difference; and on the other hand, to maintain and defend the constitutional process that we have opened. We have our hopes pinned on the feminist movement and on its ability to sustain –as we defined in the Plurinational Meeting of Women and Dissidences that Fight, this year – the feminist program regarding the work of the Government. Never again are we going to delegate to others the continuity of the transformations that we have set out to carry out, and we know that their depth also rests on our presence, on a presence that sustains the programmatic alert permanently, so that the promises that are contained in the government program, and which coincide with the program of the feminist program, materialize in fact.

UN Women: International Women’s Day celebrates the contribution of women and girls as climate solution multipliers

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

A press release from UN Women

Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, explores the ways in which women and girls are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response around the world, contributing powerful leaders and change-makers to a more sustainable future for all. 

During the International Women’s Day official UN Observance, Secretary-General António Guterres emphasizes the important role of  women and girls in fighting climate change. “We need more women environment ministers, business leaders and presidents and prime ministers. They can push countries to address the climate crisis, develop green jobs and build a more just and sustainable world. We cannot emerge from the pandemic with the clock spinning backwards on gender equality.”

Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources, which climate change threatens the most. However, despite increasing evidence, there is still hesitancy in making the vital connections between gender, social equity and climate change. At the same time, progress made towards a more gender-equal world is being obstructed by multiple, interlocking and compounding crises, most recently, the ongoing aggression against Ukraine. Whatever the crisis, from conflict to climate, women and girls are affected first and worst. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.

“We have seen the impact of COVID-19 in increasing inequalities, driving poverty and violence against women and girls; and rolling back their progress in employment, health and education.  The accelerating crises of climate change and environmental degradation are disproportionately undermining the rights and wellbeing of women and girls”, said UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous. “We have today the opportunity to put women and girls at the centre of our planning and action and to integrate gender perspectives into global and national laws and policies.  We have the opportunity to re-think, re-frame and re-allocate resources. We have the opportunity to benefit from the leadership of women and girls environmental defenders and climate activists to guide our planet’s conservation. Climate change is a threat multiplier. But women, and especially young women, are solution multipliers”.

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(Click here for a French version of this article or here for a Spanish version.)

Questions for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

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As exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic and social fallout impacted women and girls disproportionately, further challenging their ability to withstand the impacts of the climate and environment crises. The pressures of juggling work and family, coupled with school closures and job losses in female-dominated sectors meant even fewer women were participating in the workforce, with about 113 million women aged 25–54, with partners and small children, out of the workforce in 2020. 

Climate change also drives increased vulnerability to gender-based violence. Across the world, women bear a disproportionate responsibility for securing food, water and fuel, tasks that climate change makes more time-consuming and difficult. Scarcity of resources and the necessity of traveling further to obtain them may open women up to more violence including increased risk factors linked to human trafficking, child marriage or access to resources to protect them from gender-based violence.  

Women and girls are taking climate and environment action at all levels, but their voice, agency, and participation are under-supported, under-resourced, under-valued and under-recognized.

Continuing to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability is essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality. Solutions must integrate a gender perspective into climate, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes; promote and protect women environmental human rights defenders; build resilience of women and girls and their organizations; strengthen prevention, response and recovery from sexual and gender-based violence and improve; and invest in gender specific statistics and data to amplify the relationship between gender and climate. 

Commemoration events around the world

International Women’s Day commemoration events globally will include ministerial meetings, rallies, marches, media workshops, storytelling and content production, photo exhibits, celebrities’ engagements, and social media activations. 

UN Women offices will join the commemorations through a variety of events including inter-generational cross-thematic dialogs in Thailand, a virtual gallery  telling the stories of climate champions from Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Viet Nam, a regional over 110 Stock Exchanges  are hosting for the eighth consecutive year bell-ringing ceremonies to demonstrate their support for women’s rights and gender equality. In Abu Dhabi ADX Trading Hall, the ceremony was joined by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia during her official visit to UAE.

In Photoville  in New York and at the World Expo in Dubai, the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and UN Women will present the photo exhibition “In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace”. The exhibition profiles 14 women from around the world who have mediated with armed groups, participated in peace talks, advanced political solutions and advocated for women’s rights and participation. Their stories come from the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen and Colombia. The exhibit also profiles the local women photographers who took the photos, telling the story through their lenses.

Join the online conversation using the hashtag #IWD2022 and following @UN_Women.Download the social media package here, and for more news, assets and stories, visit UN Women’s editorial, In Focus:  International Women’s Day.

Colombia: Decriminalization of abortion is a triumph for human rights

. . HUMAN RIGHTS . .

An article from Amnesty International

The Colombian Constitutional Court’s ruling in favour of the decriminalization of abortion during the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy is a great triumph for human rights, said Amnesty International today.


Photo by: Daniel Romero/Long Visual Press/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“We celebrate this ruling as a historic victory for the women’s movement in Colombia that has fought for decades for the recognition of their rights. Women, girls and people able to bear children are the only ones who should make decisions about their bodies. Now, instead of punishing them, the Colombian authorities will have to recognize their autonomy over their bodies and their life plans,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“Following the legalization of abortion in Argentina last year and the recent decriminalization in Mexico, this ruling is yet another example of the unstoppable momentum of the green tide in Latin America. We will not stop fighting until the sexual and reproductive rights of all women, girls and people able to bear children are recognized in the entire continent, without exception.”

The Constitutional Court approved the ruling to decriminalize abortion today during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, with five votes in favour and four against. After 24 weeks, legal abortion will continue to only be permitted in cases of a risk to the life or health of the pregnant person; the existence of life-threatening fetal malformations; or when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or non-consensual artificial insemination.

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(click here for the article in French or click here for the article in Spanish.).)

Question related to this article:

Abortion: is it a human right?

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“Although decriminalizing abortion in the first 24 weeks is a vital step forward for abortion rights in Colombia, and for Latin America and the Caribbean, no one should ever be criminalized for accessing an abortion. It’s vital that we keep pushing for full access to safe and legal abortion in all circumstances in Colombia and beyond,” added Erika Guevara-Rosas.

Despite being a fundamental right established by the Constitutional Court in Decree C-355 of 2006, access to abortion is currently unequal and limited in Colombia. It is estimated that currently in the country there are 400,400 abortions performed each year, and that less than 10% of these procedures are performed legally, with a high concentration of services in the biggest cities.

Legal abortion is not only much safer than clandestine abortion, but also the cost of its provision in Colombia, compared to care for incomplete abortion,  is much lower  when performed in top-level institutions, using the techniques recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The criminalization of abortion exacerbates inequalities between women. The vast majority of those reported for clandestine abortions in Colombia are those who live in rural areas and almost a third  of them are survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence or personal injury. Therefore, instead of framework with greater guarantees of human rights, a framework of persecution against the most vulnerable women has prevailed.

Moreover, the criminalization of abortion has generated fear and stigma in health care providers,  causing them to avoid providing the service  of termination of pregnancy for fear of the social and legal consequences they may face. 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org

United Nations : Commission on the Status of Women 2022

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An announcement from UN Women

The sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 14 to 25 March 2022. Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSW66 will take place in a hybrid format. All side events and parallel events will be fully virtual.

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to contribute to the session.

Themes

Priority theme: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes;

Review theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work (agreed conclusions of the sixty-first session);

Bureau

The Bureau of the Commission plays a crucial role in facilitating the preparation for, and in ensuring the successful outcome of the annual sessions of the Commission. Bureau members serve for two years. In 2002, in order to improve its work and ensure continuity, the Commission decided to hold the first meeting of its subsequent session, immediately following the closure of the regular session, for the sole purpose of electing the new Chairperson and other members of the Bureau (ECOSOC decision 2002/234).

The Bureau for the 66th session (2022) of the Commission on the Status of Women comprises the following members:

° H.E. Ms. Mathu Joyini (South Africa), Chair (African States Group)

° Ms. Pilar Eugenio (Argentina), Vice-Chair (Latin American and Caribbean States Group)

° H.E. Ms. Antje Leendertse (Germany), Vice-Chair designate (Western European and Other States Group)

° Mr. Māris Burbergs (Latvia), Vice-Chair designate (Eastern European States Group)

° Ms. Hye Ryoung Song (Republic of Korea), Vice-Chair designate (Asia and Pacific States Group)

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Questions for this article
 
Does the UN advance equality for women?

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Preparations

Expert Group Meeting: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes

Organization of the Session

The Commission’s two-weeks session includes the following activities:

Organization of Work

Side Events

All side events will take place virtually. Information about side events and activities organized outside of the formal programme of the session

Session Outcomes

The outcome of the Commission’s consideration of the priority theme during its 66th session will take the form of agreed conclusions, to be negotiated by all Member States.

CSW66 Draft Agreed Conclusions

The Commission will review, as appropriate, its methods of work, taking into consideration the outcome of the process of alignment of the agendas of the GA and ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, with a view to further enhancing the impact of the work of the Commission.The Commission will make a recommendation on how best to utilize the year 2025, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

NGO Participation

Overview

Eligibility

Arrangements

Opportunities for NGOs to address the Commission

Conakry: former deputies launch a new coalition for peace, rights and development, COFEPAD-Guinea

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article from Guinee Matin (translation by CPNN)

Former members of the National Assembly of Guinea have created a platform, called “Coalition of women parliamentarians and actors for peace, rights and development in Guinea” (COFEPAD-Guinea). This organization was announced by a public declaration issued this Friday, January 7, 2022 in Conakry.


video of the press conference

COFEPAD-Guinea is led by Dr. Zalikatou Diallo, former MP and former Minister of Citizenship and National Unity, and its vice-presidents are Dr. Hadja Aïssata Daffé and Ms. Nanfadima Magassouba. Its main objective is to contribute effectively to the preservation and consolidation of achievements in the defense of the rights of women, children and vulnerable people in the Republic of Guinea.

DECLARATION

We, the women who have participated in the various legislatures of the National Assembly of the Republic of Guinea, as well as we, actors working for peace, the defense of the rights of women, children and vulnerable people, have taken the initiative to the establishment of the COALITION OF WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS AND ACTRESSES FOR PEACE, RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT IN GUINEA (COFEPAD-GUINEA).

The launch of the activities of this Coalition, whose head office is located in Conakry, in the Commune of Ratoma, in the district of Lambanyi, has as its primary objective to contribute effectively to the preservation and consolidation of achievements in the defense of the rights of women, children and vulnerable people in the Republic of Guinea.

COFEPAD-GUINEA has the following essential mission:

– Allow its members to interact in order to pursue the noble and exalting struggle for gender equality and the consideration of the gender dimension at all levels of the Guinean Nation, while promoting lasting peace, a society of cohesion, a culture of good citizenship and the other values ​​necessary for the socio-economic development of Guinea.

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(Click here for the original French version)

Questions for this article

Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?

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– Contribute to the maintenance and consolidation of achievements in favor of Guinean women in legal texts, favorable to gender equality, in order to enable Guinea to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): Nations Nations No. 5 as well as the provisions of the Maputo Protocol of the African Union, adopted on July 11, 2003 in Maputo and entered into force since November 25, 2005.

– Carry out advocacy and lobbying actions at the level of the authorities and bodies of the Transition, with a view to amending all provisions that discriminate against women and vulnerable people. Promote ctions that contribute significantly to the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 and its related resolutions.

– Recommend the strict application of criminal sanctions against perpetrators of rape and conduct awareness campaigns to reverse this trend in Guinean society.

– Work to strengthen lasting peace and national unity in the Republic of Guinea by an extensive awareness campaigns at all levels, supported by a synergy of action between our Coalition and the administrative and local authorities, as well as other actors involved in the same dynamic. These actions should put Guinea on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063. In particular with regard to Aspiration No. 6, namely: “An Africa whose development is people-driven, which relies on the potential of its people, especially women and young people, who care about the well-being of children.

In order to achieve the results produced, the members of COFEPAD-GUINEA propose a strategic plan accompanied by an action plan in accordance with the statutes of the Coalition.

Through multiple activities, COFEPAD-GUINEA proposes to :

– Contribute to strengthening a durable culture of peace, a sine qua non condition for the harmonious and balanced development of Guinea;

– Strengthen the partnership between men and women and the capacities of the members of the Coalition to better fulfill their missions of defending women’s rights while preserving what has already been achieved;

– Harmonize and strengthen partnership with other national and international institutions, organizations, and networks that promote gender equality;

To enable it to achieve this panoply of objectives, COFEPAD-GUINEA count son the support of administrative authorities, national and international institutions, as well as collaboration with NGOs defending the rights of women, children and vulnerable people in Guinean society.

Long live the women of Guinea

Long live gender equality

Long live peace, unity and the development of Guinea

May God bless Guinea and all Guineans

Amen!

Phyllis Kotite has passed away

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An obituary from the facebook page of the Academic University for Non-Violence & Human Rights – AUNOHR

(Phyllis Kotite was a reporter and frequent contributor to CPNN) Here is her obituary from the Academic University for Non-Violence & Human Rights in her beloved homeland of Lebanon.)

Our very dear friend, the first member to join the Council of Fellows of AUNOHR, has passed away last week in Paris. Although she was more than 90 years old, she was at the peak of her intellectual prowess and she maintained her ever energetic and generous spirit.


Click on image to enlarge

One of the first Lebanese women to work at the UN in New York, and then at UNESCO in Paris, Phyllis continued to serve as a consultant and contributor to peace-building and non-violence education as well as conflict prevention programmes.

She was a born into a Lebanese family (Marjeyoun; South Lebanon) that immigrated to the United States of America at the beginning of the last century. However, she chose to build strong relations with her homeland and she actively immersed herself in all the challenging affairs that Lebanon was going through. She was an influential activist who decided that her ties to Lebanon and the Arab World should not be merely a matter of family heritage, but a matter of significant social change. She was a firm secularist whose beliefs were never compromised when sectarian warfare raged in Lebanon and she always remained true to her ideals.

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Question related to this article:
 
Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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She always sought to utilize her international relations and networks to support hundreds of individuals and tens of civil society organizations from all countries, especially Arab countries, as well to advocate social change causes and political and cultural liberation causes. This was especially true for Lebanon and for the Palestinian cause. She was most drawn to working with youth whom she saw as the face of the future.

Not a week would pass without her suggesting a new initiative to our university. She always sought to build new connections and networking opportunities, and she would relentlessly reach out to others, develop plans and open various horizons for future growth. She was incredibly generous and she always gave us her unwavering support, for she was convinced that the establishment of a university to spread the culture of non-violence and human rights in the Arab World was a unique and momentous undertaking, and that it was nothing short of a “heroic act”.

She offered all this incredible support while she was all on her own, with no institutions or office staff assisting her. Up until her last day, she continued to independently live by herself. She was an avid lover of music, arts, and culture. She was also an enthusiastic reader and a seeker of knowledge, and she was active in multiple initiatives and organizations.

Two days before her passing, she messaged Dr. Ogarit Younan, to send her regards and propose ideas for the MOU with Birzeit University. She had been a close friend to the founders of AUNOHR since the early nineties. Over the years, she offered several lectures for trainees, including some who have pursued this interest to become students at the university. Her lectures were on the topic of conflict prevention and she distributed her 2012 UNESCO publication on the topic to many of the students.

It was hard for anyone to guess her age given how she led her life with such youthfulness and passion. She was always dynamic and positive, no matter what the circumstances were, and she was a spontaneous and natural giver, without once weighing what she would get in return.

A loving and giving person never truly passes away, for love has never been held back by death.

Goodbye Phyllis Koteit, with our love.